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1. How does the water removal process work?

Several steps are taken to remove water from your property in the event of a flood, hurricane, or other water related disaster. First, the water will be removed from the property. Once the water is removed, a de-humidification process will begin to dry the wet areas. Next, evaporation of the water will occur and finally the air will be tested to ensure that all water and moisture is gone from the property and won’t cause any further problems.

Other processes involved with water damage restoration include wet carpet restoration, odor control, fabric restoration, mold remediation, dry wall restoration and wood floor restoration.

2. What are the different categories of water?

There are three basic categories of water. The type of water in your property will help determine the extent of the damage and how the water will be removed.

The first category of water is clean water that poses no harm to people. This includes water damage caused by a sink or bathtub overflow or an appliance malfunction.

The second category of water is called gray water. This category includes water that has a significant amount of contamination, which can be chemical, physical and/or biological. Gray water can cause harm and illness to those who are exposed to or drink it.

The third category of water is known as black water. This water is very unsanitary and contains pathogenic agents coming from other contaminated water sources. It can cause discomfort and illness to those who are exposed to or who drink it. Black water can come from seawater, ground surface water, river water and stream water.

3. Does water damage cause mold?

Water damage certainly has the potential to cause the growth of mildew and mold. Because mold thrives in moist environments, any place that is wet (an especially humid) is a perfect place for mold to grow.

4. What are the major sources of water damage?

Water damage can come from many sources. Some of these sources include: hurricanes, storms, leaking pipes and malfunctioning washing machines and heaters. Water damage can also occur as a result of leaks in your roofing, siding and from defective gutters which will cause water to pool around your property and potentially leak into your basement.

5. What are some hidden signs of water damage?

Some of these signs include peeling paint and wallpaper, splotches of mold, moisture and condensation, a musty smell and moisture in your carpet or other flooring.

6. How can I prepare for unexpected water damage?

The best way to keep water damage from becoming a major problem is to prepare your property before the damage occurs. One thing you should be sure to know is how to cut-off the power in your home in case of a flood. In case of a storm, water and electricity are a deadly combination. You want to know where your water shut-off valves and fuse box are located in the case that you need to turn the power off.

7. Are there any tools or pieces of equipment that are important when dealing with water damage?

Moisture detectors are important since moisture can cause mold growth and poor air quality. Leak detectors are used for finding hidden leaks such as in walls and crawlspaces. Other tools you can use are dehumidifiers and water extractors to help repair water damage.

 8. How long will it take my property to dry?

A number of things determine drying time including location, duration and source of water, the types of building materials, the weather conditions and how quickly emergency services begin. We determine when the drying process is completed through consistent monitoring and evaluation. Sometimes although your carpeting feels dry to the touch, but padding and sub-floors may still be wet underneath. Each situation is different, however, most property takes approximately three to five days (or more) to dry thoroughly.

9. How do I know when my property is completely dry?

Our specialized equipment can accurately determine whether your items are completely dry.

10. Will turning up the heat help dry things out?

Not necessarily. Please do not change the setting or shut off the system; doing so may prolong the drying process. We can determine the optimum setting for the fastest drying conditions.

11. My wood floors are wet and buckling. Will they have to be replaced?

Wood flooring must be evaluated during the drying process. We use specialized drying systems and dehumidifiers which enable wood floors dry more efficiently and resume their original shape. Because of the hardwood’s density and urethane finish, drying can take three weeks, sometimes longer. If you filed a claim, your insurance adjuster will work with you to make the final decision as to whether floors will need to be refinished or replaced.

12. What about my wet furniture?

The extent of damage and the construction of the furniture will determine if your furniture can be restored. Any damage can only be assessed after the furniture is completely dried. Furniture that cannot be salvaged will be documented; a customer release form is needed for anything needing to be disposed of.

13. Do I need to move out of my property during this process?

If you file an insurance claim, you may receive guidance from your insurance representative. However, this is a decision you must reach on your own. Here are several things to consider: Safety is paramount. Our equipment is as childproof as possible, but we require your supervision for making sure no children play with it. Air movers and dehumidifiers will create some noise and make your property drafty for a few days. It is important that the equipment remains on, so if the noise is disruptive to you, you might want to consider an alternate place to stay.

14. What’s that smell?

It is common to smell some odors during the drying process. Increased heat and humidity can also lead to increased odors that may be coming from the drying building materials, or dormant spill and accident areas. These normal odors are not the odor of mold. Once the drying process continues, the humidity level will drop and you’ll notice these odors disappearing on their own. Deodorizers can be used to minimize these effects as well.

15. Does everything need to be moved out during restoration?

Not usually. If items need to be moved out, we will let you know in advance.

16. My ceilings are wet. What needs to be done?

Our technicians will evaluate moisture content, determine the severity of the damage and may have to remove some of your ceiling for ventilation. Wet insulation can also be a hazard and may need to be removed.

17. Should I open the windows to help the drying process?

Opening your windows to assist the drying process is not always recommended. Outside weather conditions may vary, so the technician will determine when and if the outside air is appropriate.

18. Can I walk on the area during the drying process?

It is strongly suggested that you keep the traffic to a minimum. Wearing shoes is recommended for your safety.

19. Can my carpet be restored or will it have to be replaced?

A few reasons your carpet may not be salvageable:
Loss of Adhesion
Permanent Stains
Sewage Contamination

20. Why does my specialty floor need to be removed?

Non-porous flooring can trap water and prevent it from drying properly.

21. Why did the technician leave wet carpet on my stairs?

Carpet on the stairs is generally not removed for safety reasons. Exposed tack strip or staples, especially on steps is dangerous. However, sometimes removing carpet from steps is necessary to prevent damage to hardwood steps or in the case of sewage contamination. Removing tack strip is not advised, as this may damage the hardwood sub-floor. Extreme caution must be used whenever tack strip is exposed or when the carpeted stairs are damp. If carpet left on the stairs is un-salvageable, it will be removed when new carpet is installed.

22. How will you match my carpet pad?

A sample of your pad is brought to the office for a match. If possible, we will use an identical pad. If it is not available, we will provide a pad of the same quality, thickness, and density. Some differences in color are usually based upon the time it was manufactured.

23. What will you do with my area rugs?

We are able to take special care of your rugs at our warehouse where they are carefully dried to minimize bleeding of colors and discoloration. Once they are thoroughly dried and cleaned, they are returned.

24. Why are air movers and dehumidifiers used?

Water can be absorbed into the drywall, baseboards, sub-flooring when water damage occurs. Drying these surfaces requires high-velocity air movers to accelerate the release of absorbed water into the air. It is necessary to place dehumidifiers to remove excess moisture to help protect property and create conditions for efficient drying. Please do not turn off or move drying equipment without first calling 1st Restoration.

25. Who is responsible for monitoring the drying equipment?

Our drying equipment is carefully placed and monitored by our water damage mitigation specialists. It is very important that no one turns the equipment off or moves it after it is in place. Please notify our office immediately if the power goes off or if the equipment turns off.

26. What will it cost to run the equipment?

Based on average electrical rates, it may cost about one dollar per day to operate the drying equipment.

27. What about sewage contamination?

Hard surfaces can be cleaned and sanitized. Affected items that cannot be sanitized require disposal. Porous materials such as drywall, ceiling tiles, insulation, particleboard, paneling, etc. that have been directly affected should be removed during the emergency service visit.

28. Who is responsible for paying for the service?

The property owner is ultimately responsible for payment. Before any work begins, the property owner signs a form authorizing the work and payment. In the event of an insurance claim, usually the deductible amount is collected by 1st Restoration and any remainder is billed directly to the insurance company. If your loss is large, we usually collect the deductible amount and bill the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the check from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered, or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full at the time of service.